Author Archives: Rich Martindell

About Rich Martindell

Instrument flight instructor (CFII), rated airline transport pilot (ATP), former military instructor pilot in F-4s and F-15s. Aircraft accident investigator and flight safety consultant. FAA Safety Team Lead Representative.

Call This Number After You Land

Not something you want to hear as you’re flying along. The FAA is taking a new approach to pilot deviations called “compliance” rather than their old mode of “enforcement” when the situation warrants. Most pilot deviations are unintentional and a … Continue reading

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My Friends, Victor and Zulu

During the Cold War, fighter pilots in Europe had one of two missions: ground attack/nuclear strike or air defense. Pilots with a nuclear strike mission took turns sitting alert on aircraft loaded with nuclear weapons and capable of launching in … Continue reading

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Tucson to London in a Beech D-18

Going to the University of Arizona in Tucson in the late 1960s I had a part time job at an aircraft maintenance and modification facility at Tucson International Airport. They specialized in modifying twin Beech D-18s for freighter service. The … Continue reading

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The ACS is Here

The Airman Certification Standards (ACS) replacing the familiar Practical Test Standards (PTS) for the private pilot and instrument ratings went into effect and the earth continued to rotate about its axis. This should be a fairly seamless transition but I … Continue reading

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Summer FITS

Every summer there are numerous articles written about the adverse effects of altitude and temperature (density altitudes) on aircraft performance but there is little discussion of the effect of heat on pilot performance. As is often the case the military … Continue reading

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Combat vs. Training, Lessons Learned

The difference between flying combat missions and training sorties is a lot more subtle than the obvious fact that you can really get shot at in combat. No matter how much you want to train the way you fight there … Continue reading

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FAA Proposed Rules for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

The issue about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is not a question of “if” but rather “when and how” and the FAA finally released the proposed rule making regarding small, unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). All pilots of manned aircraft need to … Continue reading

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